What am I doing here?

Sipping coffee in an almost deserted motorway service station at nearly midnight gives me the opportunity to ask myself, “Whatever am I doing here?” Is it just a new form of motorway madness (who in their right mind wants to be out in the rain at that time of night)? Or, on reflection, am I not in the service of the King of kings?
Representing CWI at churches is a great privilege. It is also a necessity. Christians want to hear of the success of the gospel.

They love to learn of people coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They rise to the challenge of the needs of the lost. They are driven to prayer. That is, at least, what I hope happens!

I like to think that the purpose of my visit to a church is threefold. Firstly, it is to explain God’s word so that it instructs and challenges Christians. I try to inform them of our work as evangelists to the Jewish people. This is not just to satisfy curiosity but to stimulate prayer. If believers are not concerned to pray, how can they expect God to answer? CWI values your prayers and one of my greatest joys in the work is when someone tells me he or she prays for us every day.

Secondly, I try to educate churches on Jewish matters. Many Christians are somewhat hazy about what Judaism teaches. Three people in one church independently told me that they thought all Jews were Christians! In part, such ignorance is because few actually know any Jewish people. Understanding something of Jewish life and culture will help folk to pray for their salvation and, when they have opportunity, to be compassionate in their witness. Knowing how great a debt Gentile Christians owe to the Jewish people encourages prayer.

The third reason for deputation is to alert folk to the fact that CWI has serious financial needs. Evangelism is not carried out effectively on an empty stomach and even a modest family car costs over 40p per mile to run. CWI does not normally make direct appeals for money but trusts God to supply our needs. God, on the other hand, uses his people to provide for them!

The romance of deputation is often in the surprises! On a number of occasions I have talked to someone after the meeting who has just realised that he or she is Jewish. That can come as a shock to the person concerned. Some want to identify with us more closely and become subscribers to the Herald. Others go away with a resolve to pray more earnestly for us and our work. Once I was able to help a Jewish Christian pastor by introducing him to another Jewish minister for mutual support and fellowship.

I am so grateful to those faithful Christians who turn out on a cold wet evening to hear me. I trust they benefit; I am sure CWI does. I am thankful, too, for the pastors who resist the temptation to preach elsewhere and have a “night off” from their own church. Their example to their congregation, that Jewish evangelism is important, does a great deal of good. Brethren, CWI and I are in your debt.

Finally, if your church has not had a visit from one of our staff for some time, do not hesitate to contact CWI to arrange a meeting.

Richard Iley
Richard was CWI's Supporter Relations Officer. He has since retired.

This article first appeared in the March 2006 edition of the Herald

© Christian Witness to Israel      +44 (0) 1865 887830   •   charity registered nos: 271323/SCO41720  •   site map